Collections Crossover: Summer Sports
Collections Crossover: Summer Sports

With the football season drawing to a close this weekend, and temperatures set to rise over the next week, we thought we'd turn our attention this newsletter to sporty pursuits with a summer flavour.

The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships is on the horizon, and there is no better source for the history of the 146-year-old tournament than the Illustrated London News archive, with magazines such as The Bystander, The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News and the ILN itself providing in-depth coverage of top players and matches, going all the way back to its founding year of 1877. Besides more conventional photographic reports, we've cartoons, illustrations, covers and some cracking tennis fashion.

The Ashes series also kicks off this month, promising a nail-biting summer season of test cricket. If you happen to be visiting Lord's, do look out for our images from the ILN archive in the restaurants of the Compton and Edrich stand. Our extensive cricket content includes terrific caricatures of famous cricketers by John Ireland, graphic designs from a card game called 'Run-it-out', the Australian cricket team from 1888 (looking more like Victorian school inspectors) as well as idyllic country cricket matches by photographers such as Henry Grant and John Gay, as well as various artists in the Medici archive.

If messing about on boats is more your thing then the ILN archive can also help with that (it can help with everything to be honest) but we also wanted to highlight a stylish set of images that show the social side of rowing with Jeanette Jones's photographs of the Henley Regatta in the 1990s. Moving from boats to saddles and for a spot of polo, take a peek at the pictures of Michael Cheavis who has specialised in photographing this sport over the years, with privileged access to polo grounds like Cowdray and royal players.

Continuing the equine theme, hats and horses go hand in hand at Royal Ascot, which takes place each June and where the fashion is as important as form. We've pulled together a glamorous selection of Ascot ensembles, but also some fascinating moments in Ascot's history: the 'black' Ascot of 1910 following the death of racing enthusiast King Edward VII for instance, or the time in 1981 when Lady Diana Spencer was almost refused admittance to the royal enclosure. The Keystone USA collection also includes a selection of outlandish and frankly ridiculous titfers worn by unashamed show-offs!

Back in the water we go for Cowes Week which traditionally rounds off the season. The ILN archive covered this event every year but additional images from Keystone Pictures USA and Suddeutsche Zeitung show royals such as King George V, Prince Henry of Prussia, and Prince Philp and Princess Anne all leaving us land lubbers behind.

Finally, a quick mention to the British at Leisure series by Roger Mayne, commissioned by architect Theo Crosby in 1964 and intended to be shown across five screens at the Milan Triennale, accompanied by a jazz piece from Johnny Scott. Mayne ranged his lens wide and among the leisure pursuits he captured were racing, cycling, athletics, sedate bowls clubs and elated cricket crowds. You can see some of them here.

Even if your summer of sport is limited to dipping your toes in your garden paddling pool, we hope this round-up reminds you of our wide-ranging material on all subjects of which sport is just one. If you're in need of help with research or a quote, do get in touch either by emailing or calling 020 8318 0034.

Mary Evans Picture Library Ltd.  59 Tranquil Vale  Blackheath  London  SE3 0BS. United Kingdom.
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